Palak Paneer

Palak paneer, or saag paneer, usually includes cream but it makes it very rich so I’ve left it out, as inauthentic as that may be. I’ve also assumed that you’re using pre-made paneer. If you’re really outraged by this suggestion, drop me an email and we can talk about making your own paneer. (Alternatively, take a peek at the no-bake cheesecake which includes a footnote on making paneer. Allow a litre of milk per person if your friends and family are as greedy as mine.)

650g frozen spinach, defrosted

2 blocks of paneer, about 500g in total, cut into 1.5 cm cubes

a thumb sized piece of ginger

1 heaped teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

a pinch of chili

1 teaspoon of salt

  1. Set aside the green water from the defrosted spinach. Add some more water to make up a litre of water. Bring it to the boil, then turn the heat down to its lowest.
  2. While the water warms, cook the paneer. You have a low fat and a high fat option here! For the low fat option, I use a crêpe pan without sides but any non-stick teflon frying pan will do. On a medium heat, cook the cubes, turning them to cook on each side. They will cook quite quickly and don’t need any additional oil as the cheese contains enough fat. For the high fat option, deep fry the paneer in a wok of hot oil. Whichever method you use, put the cooked paneer into the saucepan of warm water to keep it soft. Turn off the heat and cover with a lid.
  3. Heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds. Once they start crackling, add the ginger, then the powdered spices, frying briefly until they are fragrant. Add the spinach and salt. Frozen spinach doesn’t require much cooking. Add the paneer using a slotted spoon to avoid adding water. Keep the water to make soup or dal, or perhaps rice if you don’t mind it being a bit green.